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5K seven week training guide for beginners



Have you ever wanted to run a 5K but found the task too daunting or had no idea where to start? A 5K is a perfect race for beginner runners or fitness beginners in general. It will give you a well-deserved feeling of accomplishment and will provide you with the motivation you need to keep your fitness journey moving forward! 

A 5K, which is 3.1 miles, usually serves fantastic local causes and helps build a strong supportive community. Search around for any local 5K races happening in your area this summer and mark your calendar! Use this training guide to map your schedule and in two months you’ll be ready! If you are in the Northwoods see Blue Raven Race Productions event page for great 5K opportunities. Remember you can always walk a 5K if needed and if you are a fitness beginner or have limitations remember that starting slowly is always best to avoid injury. Before beginning this 5K training guide it is suggested that you be able to work out for 30 minutes at a time. If you’re not at this level let work your way up to it before beginning the training schedule.


"The Department of Health and Human Services also recommends getting 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. " **


If you’ve never tried running a 5K or if it’s been a while and you’re feeling unsure about getting started all you need is this easy-to-follow 7-week training guide to get you ready! This training guide is designed specifically to help beginners feel comfortable with running their first 5K and is built with a combination of running, walking, and resting. These combinations can be adjusted slower or fast and longer or shorter to fit your personal abilities. See below the Mayo Clinic 5K run: 7-week training schedule for beginners.

Week 1

One run/walk days, walkers walk only. Runners run for 15 seconds/walk for 45 seconds.

Monday  Run/walk 30 minutes

Tuesday  Walk 30 minutes

Wednesday  Run/walk 30 minutes

Thursday  Walk 30 minutes

Friday  Rest

Saturday  Run/walk 3 miles

Sunday  Rest or walk


Week 2

One run/walk days, walkers walk only, Runners run for 15 seconds/walk for 45 seconds.

Monday  Run/walk 30 minutes

Tuesday  Walk 30 minutes

Wednesday  Run/walk 30 minutes

Thursday  Walk 30 minutes

Friday  Rest

Saturday  Run/walk 3.5 miles

Sunday  Rest or walk


Week 3

One run/walk days, walkers walk only, Runners run for 20 seconds/walk for 40 seconds.

Monday  Run/walk 30 minutes

Tuesday  Walk 30 minutes

Wednesday  Run/walk 30 minutes

Thursday  Walk 30 minutes

Friday  Rest

Saturday  Run/walk 2 miles with Magic Mile*

Sunday  Rest or walk


Week 4

One run/walk days, walkers walk only, Runners run for 20 seconds/walk for 40 seconds.

Monday  Run/walk 30 minutes

Tuesday  Walk 30 minutes

Wednesday  Run/walk 30 minutes

Thursday  Walk 30 minutes

Friday  Rest

Saturday  Run/walk 4 miles

Sunday   Rest or walk


Week 5

One run/walk days, walkers walk only, Runners run for 25 seconds/walk for 35 seconds.

Monday  Run/walk 30 minutes

Tuesday  Walk 30 minutes

Wednesday   Run/walk 30 minutes

Thursday  Walk 30 minutes

Friday  Rest

Saturday  Run/walk 2 miles with Magic Mile*

Sunday  Rest or walk


Week 6

One run/walk days, walkers walk only, Runners run for 25 seconds/walk for 35 seconds.

Monday  Run/walk 30 minutes

Tuesday  Walk 30 minutes

Wednesday  Run/walk 30 minutes

Thursday  Walk 30 minutes

Friday  Rest

Saturday  Run/walk 4.5 miles

Sunday  Rest or walk


Week 7

One run/walk days, walkers walk only, Runners run for 30 seconds/walk for 30 seconds.

Monday  Run/walk 30 minutes

Tuesday  Walk 30 minutes

Wednesday  Run/walk 30 minutes

Thursday  Walk 30 minutes

Friday  Rest

Saturday  5K Race Day!

Sunday  Rest or walk

*The Magic Mile is a training tool designed to help you find a realistic race pace. On the first Magic Mile, warm up as usual and then run or walk 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) slightly faster than your normal pace. Time your 1-mile run/walk with a stopwatch. Run or walk easily the rest of the distance assigned for the day. On each successive Magic Mile, warm up as usual, and then try to beat your previous 1-mile run/walk time. Your 5K race pace should generally be about one to two minutes slower than your fastest Magic Mile time.


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